3rd June, 2008
KOTA KINABALU: The Consumers Association of Sabah and Labuan (CASH) has described the ‘goodies’ announcement by the Prime Minister’s last Saturday as yet another lip service to pacify the people in Sabah.
First and foremost, it is irrelevant to have a high-powered cabinet committee to address the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah because it does not have the legal power to summon the people involved, said CASH President Datuk Patrick Sindu (pictured) yesterday.
Patrick suggested that the federal Cabinet set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to address the illegal migrant problem because there is no other way the state could tackle the problem effectively.
On the abolishment of the Department of Federal Development Sabah and its replacement by the Sabah Development Office (SDO), he said since the department was dealing mostly with road infrastructure projects, the fund should be channelled straight to the State’s Public Works Department (PWD) rather than the SDO.
“I believe that the SDO will not be effective especially when our State’s delivery system is still poor,” he said.
On the appointment of a Sabahan to be the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice chancellor, he said being a local who hailed from Keningau, he hoped that Prof. Datuk Kamarulzaman Ampon would do his level best to hire more locals to work in UMS because at the moment most of the posts there are dominated by West Malaysians.
“I also hope that he will try his best to give more opportunities to local contractors especially when awarding the development projects in UMS,” he said.
On the plan to standardise the prices of goods nationwide for nine controlled items, Patrick felt that it would not be effective unless the government set up a National Consumer Affairs Department to monitor the prices of goods.
The department should be placed under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department which had the executive power to act and summon irresponsible traders and relevant people like in United States and Australia, he said.
At the moment, he said, consumer goods are under the supervision of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry which which seems to lean more towards propagating business than controlling the prices of goods.